By Arthur Cotterell
From one of many world's top historians?a accomplished narrative of the 3,000 years that experience shaped Asia's humans, tradition, and worldwide destiny
Tracing its origins in Mesopotamia to its smooth function at the worldwide geopolitical degree, historian Arthur Cotterell bargains a compelling, full of life, and readable account of 1 of the main culturally varied, and sometimes misunderstood, components of the area. starting with the emergence of the world's earliest civilization in 3000 BC, Asia: A Concise heritage presents a desirable examine the worldwide convulsions?like the increase and fall of Assyria and Persia, the medieval states that flourished after the appearance of Islam, and the fashionable changes caused by means of the lightning conquests of imperial Japan?that have formed the continent. * Covers the nice occasions and figures of Asian heritage, in addition to a glance on the enormous continues to be that endure witness to these occasions: the ziggurats of Iraq, the Taj Mahal, the nice Wall of China, the temple of Angkor Wat* contains attention-grabbing slices of heritage, together with funeral preparations for Qin Shi Huangdi in 210 BC; an extract from Lord Macartney's magazine of his 1793 diplomatic undertaking to the Qing emperor Qian lengthy; and Toyotomi Hideyoshi's edict of 1587 banning firearms in Japan* good points boxed inserts of targeted interest?like a Babylonian recipe for lamb stew circa 1500 BC* includes over a hundred illustrations, maps, and images* different books by means of Cotterell: The Minoan World, The First Emperor of China, The Encyclopedia of Mythology, and Chariot
Destined to develop into a reference staple for historical past buffs and scholars of Asian historical past, Asia: A Concise historical past deals readers a panoramic narrative and wealth of element that make the formative classes, key occasions, and personalities from this as soon as distant a part of the area come alive.
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In the Song of Solomon we find an unexpected parallel of such sensuousness, when “until the break of day, and the shadows fell away”, the lover is exhorted to act “like a roe and a young hart on the mountains of Bether”. This short love poem may well echo the rite of sacred marriage, even though an alternative view looks to Egypt for the source of inspiration. The authorship and the date of composition, not to say the inclusion of the Song of Solomon in the Bible, remain an unsolved mystery. Uruk is also the setting of the Babylonian epic about Gilgamesh, a legendary Sumerian king whose original name was Bilgames.
For fifteen hours I lay with Inanna. Capable of making endless love, the goddess was the awakening force that stirs desire in people and causes ripeness in vegetation. A ruler’s enjoyment of “the sweetness of her holy loins” was regarded by the Sumerians as vitally important because this sacred coupling guaranteed a city’s survival. indd 7 4/5/11 9:39:13 AM Asia: A Concise History the return of Dumuzi from the underworld to Inanna’s “ever youthful bed”. In the Song of Solomon we find an unexpected parallel of such sensuousness, when “until the break of day, and the shadows fell away”, the lover is exhorted to act “like a roe and a young hart on the mountains of Bether”.
Nothing is known about the arrival of the Sumerians in southern Iraq. As they believed that they had travelled in a westerly direction, the discovery of the Indus civilisation has encouraged the idea of the Sumerians being earlier occupiers of northwestern India. But it is just as likely that they moved into the Tigris–Euphrates river valleys from Iran, as did other migrants attracted to their agricultural potential, although there is also the possibility that the Sumerians always lived in Iraq.
Asia: A Concise History by Arthur Cotterell